Just a little something to muse upon in respect to how private we want our reading and research habits to be. Click the link here.
Of course, it doesn't hurt to make our reading habits at least marginally public. Shelfari is quite fun - although I need to find more time to really do much with it. People often scan the bookshelves of those they visit or of authors photographed standing in front of said bookshelves (what is J.K. reading anyway?). When students come to my office, they always check out the bookshelves (of course, my 'real' collection is at home, since most of my research is done at night).
But at times, research can be misconstrued.
When teaching a unit that looked at terrorism, I was a little nervous getting on a plane with that week's readings (but I did need to read them before class and the plane trip was the only opportunity available). Happily, no one paid me any mind.
I can, however, see the potential problems of Google Books searches being used in ways that will make us think twice about what we research.